Below is the write-up about Wham!’s song “Everything She Wants” from the book “The Billboard Book of Number One Hits: The Inside Story Behind Every Number One Single on Billboard’s Hot 100 from 1955 to Present” by Fred Bronson.
Writer: George Michael
Producer: George Michael
May 25, 1985
With “Everything She Wants,” Wham! became the first chart act since the Bee Gees to pull three number one singles from one album. Make It Big yielded “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, “Careless Whisper” and “Everything She Wants”, a trio of singles that topped the Hot 100 in a six-month period between November 1984, and May 1985.
George talked about “Everything She Wants” in the Fall, 1985, issue of
ASCAP in Action: “It’s the only song I’ve written that successfully came
from a backing track first. I wrote the Linn drum pattern and found a synthesizer program I liked and wrote the backing track in one evening, took it back to the hotel, and wrote the vocal in a hotel room the next morning. Because it was thrown together that way, I never looked at it as a single ’til everybody started saying it was great.”
George elaborated on the lyrics to Dick Clark on his syndicated radio countdown show: “It’s a lyric about a man who is six or eight months into a marriage which obviously isn’t going well. He’s faced with the ‘happy’ news of an arriving baby. So he’s in that situation where he can’t back out. (The song) talks about the situation (in which) many men find themselves, working really hard to support a family . . . and see it as a kind of trap. It’s a situation I’ve seen. . . . It’s not the kind of thing I usually write about. Our lyrics are usually a lot closer to the kind of pop lightweight lyric we enjoy .. but it’s a departure, and I think it worked.”
There was one more single from Make It Big. “Freedom,” a number one single in the United Kingdom, peaked at number three in America in September 1985. That fall, George Michael told partner Andrew Ridgeley and managers Jaz Summers and Simon Napier-Bell that Wham! had come to an end. “We always said that there’d be no Wham! past the point where we were not enjoying it,” Michael later told Steve Gett in Billboard. “It became a very restrictive thing, and I felt I was ready to do other things musically. The directions I wanted to go in had nothing to do with the original concept of the group.”
The press reports on the split made it clear that Ridgeley’s musical role in the group had been smaller than most people realized. Gett asked Michael how much Andrew actually contributed to Wham! “Originally, quite a lot. But by Make It Big he was contributing very little, partially through laziness and partially through accepting that what I was doing at the time was going to be so huge commercially that neither of us thought there would be any point in trying to collaborate when it would just dilute what I was doing. It was very difficult for him to even try to contribute, knowing that I had a very fixed goal in my mind musically.”
There were still more Wham! singles to come, even after the split was announced. “I’m Your Man” peaked at number three in February, 1986. That was followed by a George Michael number, “A Different Corner,” which went to number seven in June. The following month, the final Wham! LP was released. The American version was titled Music from the Edge of Heaven, and it contained “I’m Your Man” and “A Different Corner” as well as “The Edge of Heaven” (number 10 in August) and “Where Did Your Heart Go?” (number 50 in November). According to Rolling Stone, Ridgeley appeared on only two of the tracks on the album, a live recording of “Blue”
from the China tour and “Wham! Rap ’86”, a remix of a 1983 song.
Wham! gave their final concert at Wembley Stadium on June 28, 1986. Their first single entered the British chart the week of October 16, 1982, and their last single entered the American chart exactly four years later.
THE TOP FIVE
Week of May 25, 1985
- ‘Everything She Wants’ – Wham!
- ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me’- Simple Minds
- ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ – Tears for Fears
- ‘Axel F’ – Harold Faltermeyer
- ‘Smooth Operator’ – Sade
- Wham!’s Last Week, Smash Hit Magazine (July 1986)
- A Year in the Life of Wham! as Told by George Michael (Smash Hits Yearbook, 1986)
- George Michael Interview with Capital FM Radio with Dr. Fox (Dec 1998)
- George Michael on ‘Listen Without Prejudice’ (1990)
- An Audience with George Michael: Interview with Chris Evans (1996)